Dec 7, 2005
Please forgive my ignorance, I'm pretty new at this.

I'm moving all of my sites from one server to another. Both servers have cpanel/WHM. My problem is that the server has a number of sites owned by people who will have a hard time changing nameservers. Since I plan to abandon the old server, I figure I can simply rename the new one to the same domain as the old one and once I change the IPs of the nameservers, all should switch over after a period of time. To minimize that period, I've changed all of the DNS zone TTLs from 14400 to 300.

I have a few concerns I hope I can work around. One is that since there are a fair number of larger forums/ecommerce type sites where time is critical, and since moving ALL of the sites is going to take hours and hours, I would prefer a more incremental approach as follows. I would like ot get the new server running on it's own, under a new domain and transfer the sites I own and control in the normal way by changing nameservers. This way I can control the individual timing and get the biggest ones out of the way.

Then I can trasnfer the remaining sites and rename teh server to the old domain name in one shot, but it'll be a much smaller process. I'm thinking that for the sites that were moved first, this changeover will be transparent.

My questions are, will this work? And where are all the places that I have to change the name? I always have a problem getting the server setup initially so I'm afraid I'll be messing around looking for some undone setting/IP etc.

Thanks in advance!
Dec 7, 2005
Hi and thanks for the replies. Those are all useful in their own regard, but none address my issue which is more about the DNS changes than about moving/backing up data.

Still hoping to get some input on that if anybody has any ideas. :)


Well-Known Member
Mar 13, 2004
Melbourne, Australia
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator

It's not completely clear what you're asking. If you're asking, can I move the sites one by one, yes, sure. I'm assuming all sites share a common nameserver, right? Say we call that nameserver, so we have something to work with.

If they share the common nameserver, you can move one site at a time (eg by changing the A record IP addresses in /var/named/ to point to the new nameserver, and moving the MX record to point to the new server (must point to a DNS name on the new server, IP addresses don't work for MX records). Change the MX through cpanel as it will move the line from /etc/localdomains to /etc/remotedomains which is essential to make sure all email is sent through to the new server.

Once you complete moving all the sites this way you can then change over the shared nameserver.

Of course if they have separate nameservers, you can cut them over after you move each site. I've found I can get almost instantaneous switchover with this method. The important thing is, once you move each site, you need to disable any databases so you dont get changes on the old server.



Well-Known Member
Nov 6, 2005

If I were you, this is what I would do.

Tell your clients that you are going to be moving servers. Tell your cliens that their site WILL be down for x amount of hours. (not sure how many accounts you have but on the safe side lets just say 6 hours)

Now change your nameservers to your new servers IP.


Your old nameservers --> -->

Your new nameservers --> 321.321.321.001 --> 321.321.321.002

This way, you don't have to worry about your datacenter switching IP's from your old server to your new server which will cause way more downtime.

Head over to root WHM (old server) and go over to the DNS section and edit DNS records. Start from the first domain and edit that DNS setting. Change over the IP's from your old server to the new server and save. Once this is done, backup that account.

In SSH that command will be

/scripts/pkgacct cPanelUserName
That will make a cpmove-cPanelUsername.tar.gz file in your /home/ directory. Once that is done you now need to move that cpmove file over to the new server.

On your old server type,
scp -c arcfour /home/cpmove-cPanelUserName.tar.gz [email protected]:/home/

Once that is done, on your new server type

/scripts/restorepkg cPanelUsername

This domain or account is now up and running on your new server and everyone can see this domain and do not have to wait for nameservers to update.

Repeat this step for each account. You can also view the link in my sig for a batch solution.

Feel free to ask any questions...

Dec 7, 2005
SOrry to leave this alone for awhile, it took me some time to digest and experiment and have a little better understanding of what the replies said. It seems the last two replies were similar except brianoz moves the site and pointers first, while HA reverses the order. Since I have a few troublesome sites (primarily my 4GB+ dragonfly site) I want to move early on, I htink I will sue the first method for them, then maybe switch the rest once that Big Pig is online at it's new home.

I have a question about the MX record change. brianoz said to change it in cpanel. I didn't see a way to do that, but I did see how in WHM. Same thing? Or is WHM just an extension of cpanel and that's what you meant?

It looks like I can change the A record and ftp IPs and as well as the MX record domain inside that file, is this all I have to do? Speaking of the MX record, am I reading you correctly that all I need in there is that resolves to the new server.

And finally when it comes to moving the sites, I've been having good luck using the WHM's site move function, at least one at a time. Is there any disadvantage to this method, as long as it works? Seems I've read that with bigger sites over a gig, I may have to resort to less automated solutions.